Behind the ‘Loft – Q&A with Gameloft’s VP of the Americas

Comic Con is all about the fans! …Well, the fans and the costumes and the celebrities and a bunch of other stuff. Anyway, we’ve decided to focus on the fans and bring some hard hitting questions we often hear from our fans to Gameloft’s own Baudouin Corman, VP Publishing for the Americas.

Below, we dig deep and find out details about Gameloft’s approach to free-to-play, support for Android devices, and the future of AAA mobile games. Check out the interview below for all the details.

How long have you been with Gameloft?
I’ve been with Gameloft since back before we were making smartphone games. I started in 2005. At the time, our games ranged in size from 100 to 300 KB! We had a mix of action games (Ubisoft IPs for example) and casual games (like the Midnight Series: Midnight Pool, Midnight Bowling,…). Casual games on mobile phones were already an important part of our business.

How has the company changed over that time?
There have been some changes. We were 500 people when I started. We are now over 5,000. But many things remain the same like our focus on making the highest quality games possible. Any new piece of mobile hardware generates a lot of excitement inside the company and we try to do the best we can for each particular device. We also still have some of the most passionate gamers in the industry working here. One big change over the past couple of years is our business model. We used to only make paid games, and are now offering a more balanced portfolio including free-to-play titles that are popular with more casual audiences.

Why has Gameloft moved to a 100% freemium strategy?
We haven’t! When we first started making free-to-play games, I think there was fear among our biggest fans that we were abandoning the core gamer audience. Some people assumed that we would stop making AAA core games all together. We’re very excited to bring games like The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises to market. I think we’ve found a healthy balance. Games like N.O.V.A 3 and Ice Age Village appeal to different audiences, but both audiences deserve the best quality.

So we can still expect more AAA games from Gameloft in 2012 and beyond?
Yes, and regardless of the price or business model we always aim to make the best quality titles whether free-to-play or premium. For example, we just released The Amazing Spider-Man for $6.99 and Asphalt 7 for $.99. We have a lot of awesome titles coming down the pipe at all price points. I think our fans will be very pleased.

Speaking of Asphalt 7, why did you decide to drop the price from the previous game? Did you add a freemium model?
It’s a nice price, don’t you think? There’s a ton of content in Asphalt 7. Players can certainly unlock new cars and upgrades with IAP if they want, but I think most players would agree that it’s not something that’s necessary to enjoy the game. We feel this is the right price point to bring our quality racing game Asphalt to the mass market.


Why don’t Gameloft games come to Android at the same time as iOS?

This is something we try to do. It’s a goal in 2012 to have simultaneous launches across iOS and Android. No one is more disappointed than we are when that doesn’t happen. For example, Asphalt 7 was supposed to release on Android at the same time as iOS. Last minute unexpected technical issues have caused a delay. We refuse to release games before they’ve completely gone through proper QA, and I think consumers would rather wait a bit longer than play a game that isn’t fully polished.

What do you think of the Galaxy Nexus 7 tablet?
We’re very excited by this initiative of Google for various reasons. First, the Nexus 7 is an entertainment device focusing on content. Google did a good job at showcasing content in the menu, in the main screens,… and the price point is awesome. We’ve seen the success of tablets like the Kindle Fire. We hope that the Nexus 7 will be as successful.

Why doesn’t Gameloft support more Android devices?
For customers, I imagine it’s frustrating if one of our games isn’t available for your device. There are a lot of devices out there with different screen sizes, different firmware, and different specifications. We want our games to work on as many of them as possible, but we also want each player to have an optimal playing experience. We optimize our games for each device and with hundreds of devices on the market and more coming out each day, we sometimes have to choose our battles. But we’re constantly revising our publishing list. Did you notice we recently added the Transformer Prime?

Why doesn’t Gameloft update games more often? My copy of Modern Combat 3 has bugs that have not been fixed.
If you look at our 2012 line-up, you’ll see that most titles are being updated frequently. This is by design. You can expect more regular updates from Gameloft games moving forward. And in the case of Modern Combat 3, we are working hard to find and fix bugs with each new update. But if you do find one, be sure to email our support team at support@gameloft.com so that they can let our dev teams know.

I emailed Gameloft customer service and they never replied to me. What’s the deal?
We recently announced that we have 45 million monthly active users. Compare that to a year ago. We’ve grown very quickly in terms of number of players which as you can imagine has put a burden on our support teams. But I think we can definitely do a better job here. Our customers are our number one priority.

Anything you can tell us about upcoming titles?
We’ll have plenty to announce in the months ahead. Our line-up for the 2nd half of this year is something we’re really proud of. Like us on Facebook to get all the info first.

 

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Want the inside scoop on Gameloft? Check out these in-depth interviews with the Gameloft Team:

  • osama ahmed

    when will you support galaxy s3 for The Dark Knight Rises, can't wait

  • pissed_Guy

    I have to disagree with almost everything Mr. Corman said. So gameloft now has the Transformer Prime under their skin? That's great new for Transformer Prime owners. Back in march/April this year, gameloft also supported the Original Transformer aka TF101 and even released their title Six-Guns and it's still there in Google Play, except it's now under the incompatibility list. Why is that? What does gameloft have against TF101 users? What's up with this? Every Android gamer hates you because of the lack of support, we all know gameloft just abandons a title soon after it has been released and that's an universal truth. You said gameloft cares about their customers? "Number one priority"? How so? Just take a look around, visit the gameloft international forum and see how many people are left behind with no answer at all or in rare cases some admins come up with excuses, automatic replies, empty promises. gameloft would be my number one game maker company over Konami, EA or even Square-Enix, but you guys just seem to HATE Android tablet users and love the iPad users, that explains why some titles like Asphalt 7, Modern Combat and the NOVA Series can be played by iPad users, hell even KINDLE FIRE users! But not the case for the TF101 users.

  • Steve

    Hi sir,

    Can i have a serious answer for my question?

    Asphalt 7 control a and b are not working (steering wheel). Can your team fix it? Or compensate me?

    Or none? ( please note that this problem is with lots of customers not just me).

    Best regards,

  • Michelle

    Hi, that is strange because Six Guns is available on Google Play for the TF101. :( Have you made any changes to your operating system? This could be affecting the compatibility. If you haven't made any changes, please email our support team at support@gameloft.com so they can pin point the issue.

    Also, thank you for your feedback on the forums. As Baudouin mentioned above, we are actively trying to improve our support network, whether it is through our Customer Care Team, online help sections & FAQs, or on the forums. So please continue giving us your feedback so we can continue improving our support networks. :)

  • John Slade

    iPad users don't get all the love. Gayloft is reluctant to update on any device unless something is game-breaking like the hackers in mc3.

  • make_em_compatible_geez

    I agree with pissed_Guy. I have a Asus Transformer Tf101 plus I have the Galaxy S3. I go to the Google play store and most of your games shows me they are not compatible with my devices. I have not rooted any of my devices or whatever. I have whatever latest updates for both devices.
    Spiderman is compatible, Batman is not, NOVA 3 is not, Six Guns is not (release date 2011 and still not compatible?)

  • pissed_Guy

    Thank you for your reply, Michelle, I should have said that back in march this year, Six-Guns was available for TF101, actually that's when it was available on the Play Store (with no issues or incompatibility warnings), so I downloaded it and played for almost a week. When I came back to rate it on the Store, Google points out the game is 'incompatible with my device' even though it was already installed on my Transformer TF101 and I was playing it! I still have it installed today, the only reason I did not uninstall it is because I love the game.
    Now, the weirdest part is this, if I browse through the Play Store using a web browser instead of the Store app, and go to the Store suggestions for tablet apps, I get two Gameloft titles, Spider-Man and N.O.V.A. 3. Going to each page, I still get the incompatibility warning, so why does Google recommend it?
    Also, please note that my tablet is not rooted. Nor does it has any OS problem what so ever. So checking Six-Guns using the Play Store or using a web browser running on a Windows machine, the Play store still reports the game IS incompatible with my device, so my tablet is not to blame for it. It's Gameloft's fault.
    I'm saying all this because the support page and email do not get me anywhere. They say they are investigating it but I gave up on that already. The Gameloft support team just won't come up with a clarification nor anything, that's disappointing.
    I also should point this out: if you google for 'gameloft games on tf101', you'll get a web page where somebody claimed on XDA Forums to have changed "just a few lines" and got some Gameloft games working for the TF101. I tried it and it's true. So if a mere developer or hacker can make this work, why don't Gameloft give TF101 users some love? If you continue to ignore us, all your gonna get is ZERO downloads and all TF101 users (and users from other platforms gameloft just won't care about) will attempt to download and try alternative downloads, this is known as piracy. I enjoyed playing Six-Guns, matterfact although it's a freemium title, I wouldn't bother buying one item or two, just to show some love to the Developers Team.
    We're not hating gameloft, actually we're proud of gameloft because of their dedication for bringing amazing titles for Android gamers. It just seems Gameloft has been messy with their titles' compatibility policy, user feedback and lack of support for existing titles. In other words, even if Gameloft games WERE compatible and available for TF101 users, I guess the question would still remain, though it would be "is it worth downloading this? How long is it going to take for them to release an update?". GIVE ASUS TF101 USERS LOVE, WE WILL GIVE IT BACK TO YOU!

    PS: Gameloft's current compatible games on the Play Store are:
    UNO
    Platinum Sudoku
    Fashion Icon

    :-(

  • pissed_Guy

    Here is a screenshot from the Play Store website:
    https://twitter.com/rdlf2048/status/227665571792179201/photo/1

  • Giribabu

    Be friendly

  • Michelle

    That is strange.. Are you also only able to see those three titles when you visit the Gameloft Shop at gameloft.com through your TF101?

  • PETA

    WE JAVA FANS WANT THE BEST AND MORE GAMES FROM GAMELOFT!!! WHY MAKING SHOT MISSIONS? PLZZ… TRY MAKE IT A LONGER AND HARD MISSION FOR EVERY JAVA GAME RELEASE!! THANKS

  • Preng

    More HD games for Symbian Belle please.

  • Spent

    Nice interview. I have a question, did will be Batman for armv6?

  • Steve

    PLease update asphalt 7 and fix controller a and b because it is not working! Do we have to donate for you guys to listen? Update it or compensate us.

  • Esther

    Please send me d unlocking pin 2 Titan demo cuz i hav been waiting since 2 receive d message as promised

  • Himmat

    Hi Gameloft. Let me say this: I find Gameloft's AAA tiles good. But sad thing is I need to sideload them to my tablet. I have an Acer A510 Tegra 3 tablet which is the exact same as Transformer prime in terms of specs. Why can't my tablet be officially supported? I really rather pay than having to go through warez forums to find the games by Gameloft.

    This is but a humble plea from my side. Add the A510 to compatible list. All the sideloaded games work just fine. Thanks!

  • saadthameem

    gameloft rulez…….the best company releasing hd games for android and ios ……wish u all the best to release more and more games for android ……for all the android devices….

  • B

    Excuses and lies for modern combat 3 “fix each bug with frequent updates” as if. Connection lost issue has been around for almost 3-4 months now and you all have time to release new games but no time to fix connection lost bug? Complete crap . Gameloft will lose half of your customers if you do not update the MAJOR connection lost problem now . ( connection lost problem is for all Players outside USA but we have no issues with other games online so there should be no reason why modern combat 3 has nO update

  • montel

    i have a at&t pantech element tablet model p4100 and it has googlplay and only game on there from yall is the amazing spiderman when is you gonna bring all the games on there

  • marlene

    i would like to see ALOT more games for my kindle fire, like castleville, bingo blitz, zombie lane, zynga bingo.

  • Nirmal

    I was like to see more game like spider- man,mib3 etc….

  • Sublim

    It would be wonderful if Hero of Sparta 2 came out to Android, it is a great game with huge graphics and there are many android's that would run it great, and since that is the continuation of the first the fans will love it

  • PETA

    PLZZ… Release HERO OF SPARTA 2, SHADOW GUADIAN & SACRED ODYSSEY for JAVA mobile version!! I will be glad if dis game is release for JAVA!! WE ALL LOVE TO SEE MORE ACTION,ADVENTURE AND SPORT GAMES… e.g K.O FIGHTERS 2, WWE, AND STREET FOOTBALL. PLzz…make all missions hard,long and enjoyable!! (FOR JAVA VERSION)THANKS…

  • Wuttichai

    รถแข่ง

  • Wuttichai

    Dolamon

  • matt

    I have to agree with pissed guy. You are full of shit. It really isn't hard to fix some of the things that are wrong with your games but days go by, weeks, months, and still nothing. Take the SGS3. 20 MILLION users there and growing…and yet not even half of your games are compatible. And the ones that are compatible…well I would ask you what exactly do you consider compatible? MC3…online progress is lost whenever players exit the game, making ranking up basically impossible. This has been a problem now since it was relesed and nothing has been done. N.O.V.A 3, for example, should NOT be available to purchase by SGS3 users…it clearly doesn't run. The framerate is absolutely disgusting, and the campaign freezes on the first level every single time, and multiplayer simply doesn't work. When you try to play multiplayer you are told that you need to update…yet if you click the update link it takes you to the google play store where no update is available. So either you fixed the game but screwed up the update delivery system, or more likely, you haven't done shit to fix the game, and you just keep it on the market place so you can keep raking in the money from consumers who are purchasing your product and will never be able to use it. You extend the download over 15 minutes so when they've finally got it downloaded and realize it doesn't work…they can't get a refund. It's a sneaky, dirty, pathetic business model. It may earn you some quick profits…but in the long run you are going to lose all of your customers. Look at valve…THAT is how you take care of your customers….THAT is how you make them your "number one priority". Your number one priority is only stealing our money, not taking care of us and providing us with games that actually work.

  • matt

    Oh and I've tried multiple times to contact customer support. Only to recieve one email asking for more details…after that nothing. PATHETIC. You guys simply suck. Figure your shit out quick…or by 2013 I GUARANTEE WITH MY LIFE….your studio is nothing but a bad memory.

  • matt

    And if you guys really can't figure it out, I suggest getting some advice from the guys over at madfinger. They make games that look twice as good as yours and run on EVERY phone VERY smoothly.

    Seriously…there's no excuse for how bad you guys suck right now.

  • jeremy

    it would be really great if you would fix your games to support the samsung galaxy s3 there are alot of games i have payed for on other phones but now it says they are not compatible with my phone

  • Victor Komarov (RUS)

    I really want to know why do you release a game is no longer based on the Symbian ^ 3 because the platform is very popular in my country (Russia), and in yours. I have a Nokia N8 belle, I demand a public response!!!!!

  • Steve

    Gameloft has the worst customer care and after sale services. They never listen to any complains…
    0.99$ in their pockets and who cares about the customer. Asphalt 7 is an ambush for any ipad user.
    What a shame gameloft

  • juan jose

    quiero jugar el juego me gusta}

  • hazem hassan

    asphalt 5,6,7 not working on my device samsung galaxy tab 2 10.1", wish to give me advice or solution to this issue, the error message say : unfortenuly, asphalt6 is stopped.

  • Jessica

    I do not get Gameloft games anymore, I bought Fast Five when it was released, using the pay with my phone bill option on their site, not through the market as it was not on the market yet. Well I got it up and running and what not, switched phones and could not re-downlaod it. I emailed them explaining I could not redownload it as I never had a account on their site, to use their re-download option, I tried for months to get help emailing their Android support, their facebook support, nothing was ever done and I was never helped. After that I understood why people pirate their games, its not the cost, but the lack of support people do not want to have to deal with.

  • Jessica

    To add to my above comment, not only was it Fast Five but a Ashphalt HD version too, it was a buy one game get one free promo at the time. So I ended up losing both and got no help from anyone at Gameloft.

  • chandu

    I purchased the game called the amazing spiderman. But i did not get any msg from u when iam opend the its asking the purchase code. but i didnot get any purchase code from the gameloft. What should i do now?

  • Aaron Bernard

    @Gameloft can you guys make consider making a Naruto HD game for android and iphone and make wild one for android

  • Doan nguyen

    Why hasn’t there been any updates on modern combat 3

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